In 2017, Liz Smith, director of nursing at Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts met 5-month-old Gisele, while going about her regular day.
Liz was told that Gisele had been prematurely born at 29 weeks with a weight of just 1 pound, 14 ounces. The tiny girl was suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome, which is a consequence of her mother having used heroin, cocaine, and methadone while pregnant.
Gisele was in drug withdrawal and needed a gastronomy tube for 16 hours every day.
Gisele was taken into the custody of the state of Massachusetts in October 2016 after she came to this world at another hospital, but was shortly placed into the care of Franciscan Children’s hospital where Liz worked. Her lungs were in need of special care and she had to use a feeding tube. Liz noticed that Gisele was not getting any visitors for 5 months, which presumably meant she would go into foster care.
It did not take Liz long to decide she wanted to help the lonely baby, and when Gisele was 9-months-old, she finally got permission to take her home.
The state did not hesitate on the decision due to Liz’s experience as a nurse and trusted she would be a good mother to the baby.
Gisele’s birth parents were allowed to visit her every week under supervision, but it was eventually determined that they were unable to care for her. Hence, their rights were terminated. Nine months later, and with no appeal from the parents, Liz decided to officially adopt baby Gisele.
“The day I got a phone call with the adoption date was the day that I was jumping up and down. They said ‘October 18th.’ And it’s my grandmother’s birthday and I just started crying. When the judge referred to Smith as “Mom,” it finally sunk in. I think that’s where I realized I was a parent.”
Gisele is now a joyful happy toddler but still needs to use a supplemental feeding tube.
However, she has become a healthy child who, as per her new mother, loves avocados, cheese, and pizza.
You can see the TODAY show’s coverage on the story in the link below.
What are your thoughts on this wonderful story? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article if you enjoyed the read.